The Bombay High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society seeking to de-freeze five of its bank accounts. The court took into consideration the fact that the money in the account could be part of ‘benami’ transactions. The CBI had in January 2011 frozen bank accounts of the society after registering a case against 14 accused, including several members of the society. A sum of Rs 95 lakh is lying in the accounts. Appearing for the society, advocate Saket Mone said the money in the account was collected in 2011, while the scam related to the society took place in 2004. The society claimed the bank accounts were opened to bear legal expenses and day-to-day expenditure of the society. The society has opened new accounts since the freezing of the accounts.
Mone argued that while a division bench of the High Court had rejected a similar petition seeking de-freezing in 2011, the circumstances had changed as a chargesheet and a supplementary chargesheet had been since filed in the case. Meanwhile, CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar argued that the amount was part of benami transactions and might hence be proceeds of crime.
Justice Anil Menon accepted the CBI contention Wednesday. “There is no merit in the petition. The society has been allowed by the Supreme Court to open a fresh account,” Justice Menon said, dismissing the petition.
In 2011, the CBI booked people, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a separate case against some of the accused for alleged money laundering. On July 4, 2012, the CBI filed a chargesheet against the accused and dropped charges against two of them. It named two other people as accused. The scam led to the resignation of Chavan from the CM’s post.
HC dismisses plea, Adarsh society bank accounts to remain frozen
*At least five accounts of the Adarsh Society, having
*Rs 95 lakh, were frozen in January 2011 by the CBI
*In 2011, a division bench of the Bombay HC rejected the society’s plea to de-freeze the accounts
*The society then approached the SC, which upheld the HC order but gave it permission to open a new account
*Once the supplementary chargesheet was filed, the society approached the CBI court in 2015, which too turned down its appeal
*The society moved the High Court again in 2016, which dismissed the petition Wednesday.